Add a Fake Magnifying Glass to a Photo

Enlarge a detail in your photo by peering through a fake magnifying glass Once you take a photo with a digital camera, you can do pretty much anything you want with it. You can tweak the exposure, colors, and cropping. If you're feeling more creative, you can insert a UFO or. A few readers have asked me how to add a magnification effect, as if there's a magnifying glass lying on top of the photo. It's pretty easy to do.

I'll show you how to add a basic magnifying glass effect to a photo. We'll lay an image of a magnifying glass on a photo, and then enlarge the image in the lens. Unfortunately, to do some of the fancier stuff, like adding lens distortion and reflections to truly make it look real, require tools that you won't typically find in a photo editor like Adobe Photoshop Elements--for that, you need to step up to the . But that's okay; we can get a good result with Photoshop Elements--here's how.

For starters, you'll want to have a graphic of a magnifying glass that we can add to your main photo. You can search online for this--I just typed "magnifying glass photo" into Bing, for example, and found many dozens of usable examples.

You can also look on a site like Flickr. If this is a photo you intend to publish somewhere, then be sure to use a royalty-free photo or something with a Creative Commons license. It's easy to if you check the box at the bottom of the page for Creative Commons-licensed content.